Ramon Humber has quickly become a key contributor on special teams for the Buffalo Bills.
The linebacker, who was claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots on the last day of August, leads the Bills in playing time on special teams, taking 142 of 202 snaps (70 percent). He's made six tackles, which is tied for second on the team behind Robert Blanton's seven.
Humber talked to The Buffalo News this week about growing up in Minnesota, the knock against him all his life and playing with three Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
The Buffalo News: What can you tell us about your hometown of Brooklyn Park, Minn.?
Ramon Humber: "It’s a northwest suburb of Minneapolis. About 20 minutes away. People look at Minnesota as an outcast, like there’s nothing there but cold, but there’s stuff to do. Growing up, we’d play golf, softball is big out there, fishing, bond fires. It’s really simple.”
BN: Were you a hockey fan?
RH: "I didn’t really get into hockey until high school, but I enjoy it. I’m a Wild fan, Twins fan, TimberwolvesWolves fan. Not a Vikings fan, though."
BN: Which athletes did you look up to growing up?
RH: “Ray Lewis was pretty much the top person. Just try to emulate and see what he does during a game, out there being a leader on the field."
BN: You had an FBS offer from Wyoming, but chose FCS North Dakota State instead. Why?
RH: "Just comfort level. Going into college, you have to ask yourself if you’re going to be comfortable living there for the next four or five years. I didn’t feel that there, and I did at North Dakota State, so that’s why I made the decision."
BN: Did you know Carson Wentz was this good?
RH: "I didn’t know he was going to be like this, but I’m always going to root for my North Dakota State alumni, so it didn’t matter if it was this year or a couple years down the road, as long as he’s out there doing his thing, performing. He’s making his team better, so that’s all that matters for me."
BN: The knock against you going back to high school has been your size (Humber is 5-foot-11, 232 pounds) – how have you overcome that?
RH: "Just going out there and trying to get better each and every day. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses and using my strengths to my advantage and constantly trying to decrease my weaknesses. As far as motivation, people have always knocked my size, but it’s not about size any more in this league.It’s about heart and determination, and if you have it, you can be successful."
BN: You’ve played with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and for a shorter time, Tom Brady. Did they have any common traits?
RH: "Work ethic. They put the team first. They’re great leaders and they’re consistent."
BN: How much do you still play golf?
RH: "I don’t get out enough to keep a handicap, but I get out as much as I can."
BN: How did you get into it?
RH: "It’s just relaxing during the summer, something that’s almost the opposite of football. Instead of running around burning energy, it’s more laid back. I like it because it’s a mental game."
BN: What’s your favorite NFL city to visit?
RH: "It’s hard to say because we’re in and out, but Arizona is fun."
BN: What’s your favorite stadium to play in?
RH: "I like MetLife Stadium. That’s a way a billion-dollar stadium should be built."